18 Dick Nixon and Bill Belichick…

—So Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is in hot water for videotaping the Jets’ sideline during his team’s week one blowout of Eric Mangini’s squad. My question is, why does Belichick NEED to cheat? The pats have taken to the Jets for the better part of the past decade and nothing much has changed lately. It’s like the 72’ presidential election. Nixon trounces McGovern by 23% of the popular vote and THEN gets caught up in the Watergate scandal.

Maybe it should be the jets that do the videotaping next time…it might even up the games a little. I could understand a coach of a terrible team doing this…but Belichick, the genius??

With reports that the NFL is considering punishing the Pats for spying, Tuesday, Bill Belichick had this to say, quote…”Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players.” Unquote. Though he didn’t say WHAT he was sorry for.

So what happens to Belichick and the Pats? Some make the case that sign stealing is gamesmanship, I don’t think that holds water in this case. The NFL has specific rules against this, it’s not like looking into the huddle and reading the QB’s lips. Other reports Wednesday suggest NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering sanctions that may include taking away draft picks from the Patriots. At the end of the day…this coming just weeks after the Michael Vick circus, this is the WRONG time to get caught breaking the NFL’s rules and more importantly, the wrong time to put the NFL in a bad light.


25 Responses

  1. It seems to me that taking away a draft pick is a punishment that could be felt, especially if it is high enough. I feel however that if a team is caught cheating during a game they should be forced to forfeit the game. One of the things I love about football is the chess match. Figuring out what to do with the missmatches, and anticipating what the other coach is calling, the statagy is half of the beautity of the game. So while I don’t anticipate this to be part of the punishment the Patriots will recieve, I feel if they changed the rule to make it part of the penalty it will end future instances quicker. I just can’t help but wonder how much of a “genius” Belichick really is. A coach I had truly enjoyed watching, but anyone can adjust a play when thy know what’s coming. Thanks for the soap box Dan. Miss you on the radio. Nolan Salem OR

  2. The fraud that is the NFL lays another egg….
    1. Blind refs
    2. Mediocre play masquerading as “parity”
    3. Legions of assistant coaches who achieve nothing
    4. Players out of gas by Q3 every week (“professional”?)
    5. Live play affected by the spread
    6. “TV” timeouts (what other sport does this?)
    7. And now……..brazen cheating by a top coach

  3. Wow. Am I glad I’m here right after Harvey.

    For the record, Harvey, I’m pretty sure hockey has TV timeouts. And I’m pretty sure the NBA got caught with at least one ref who had his sights set all too high. And I’m pretty sure there are players in other sports who are “out of gas” before the game is over… just as I’m pretty sure there are plenty of players in the NFL NOT out of gas by the third quarter. And I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about the spread.

    I’ll give you too many assistant coaches and the Belichick cheating part.

    Of all the professional sports, I think the NFL has the most complete package. Overall, the NHL is cleaner (at least what we see), but they don’t have the business savvy and marketing sense to be more than an also-ran for ratings.

    I think the NBA has run an interesting marketing campaign for years, but they’re in sad shape on the sin-free front and it may be partly due to the fact that they seem to have been targeting the thug demographic for more than a decade.

    The MLB is a flippin’ nightmare all the way ’round.

    Don’t ask about the MLS. Soccer isn’t a sport — I’m pretty sure it’s a member of the Aspiring Male Model family.

  4. This sounds a lot like Jason Giambi’s apology a couple of years ago.
    Mister genius is only sorry he got caught.

  5. If this was going on, Mangini knew it was going on, how brazen was it for the Patriots to do it during a Jet game? That’s what gets me. Supposedly Mangini knew the Patriots did it, and obviously felt it was above the rules. The fact that they would still choose to do it tarnishes the Patriot legacy, if you ask me, because they obviously feel it was needed and worth the risk to do it. They are no longer doing things the right way, when they have to blatantly cheat in order to win.

    And to think I thought they beat the Packers 35-0 last year because we stunk….well we did…but anyway..

  6. Ok, Belichick should be suspended at least 3 games and they should lose draft picks. I mean if this is not punished severly then what is to stop them from doing it again? The sad thing is other teams complained last year but the league couldn’t do anything because they didn’t have proof…well know they do and it should be handled in the same manner other players have been handled. I mean he is the coach and he has acknowleded somthing. He is the one who should be punished and it needs to affect HIM not just the team. If he takes coaching that seriously then have him sit for 3-4 games and let it affect his pocket. And if they find out that only him and a few of his coaches were involved then I don’t think it’s fair to punish the whole team by taking away draft picks but the people responsible should be punished.
    Rock on Dan!!

  7. I just don’t get it either, Dan.

    I mean, don’t they have those lapel cameras at the spy store in the mall? I think you can get one on Amazon for like…..$29.95.

    I don’t get why Belichick would walk into the Jets’ stadium, set up a camera, and film away with a “hey, look at me everybody! I’m tapin’ the game!” attitude.


    (a) He’s stupid.

    (b) He’s arrogant.

    (c) He was messing with Mangini’s head.

    It’s just…..weird.

  8. This is hilarious, you guys.

    I don’t know whether or not this site allows the urls to show in text, but … this is the Pats new logo…..LOL!!


  9. You’re right. The timing of this is really, really bad for Belichick. What the h3ll was he smoking? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t this the same (camera) guy the NFL caught last year during a game vs the Packers? If so, why didn’t Belichick stop
    after that incident? And why!!! Why didn’t he hire a different person?

    I think Goodell is going to hit Belichick and the Pats hard. Not only for cheating, but for being arrogant in the way they cheated.

  10. this bothers me more than the steroids issue in team sports. how could you do this with a clean conshince (sp). for me its like flopping in basketball, which i believe is cheating to win. if i win a game i want to know that we were better that day, not that we cheated to win. now i am sure they aren’t the only team doing it. were they doing this in the super bowl wins? gamemanship is reading lips and wetting down the field for a fast team, not a full on photo recon mission to the other teams sidelines.

  11. suspend that pats whole staff for the year and make Giselle Buuuundsgden coach the team. i’d like to see what she looks like with a sleeveless hoodie on.

    Brian In Antwerp

  12. Are you going to continue appearing on the Elliot in the Morning show on Fridays? I was a regular listener of your radio show and I was super pysched when I heard you on the radio station I listen to every morning. I know Elliot gave you a little bit of a hard time, but it’s good stuff. Please keep doing it!

  13. I’m On The Fence…

    I am a die-hard NYJ fan. And this doesn’t bother me at all. I am finding humor in it. This is the guy who wouldn’t give Mangini the time of day last year because he was so upset with him. Then, this year, Belichick pulls this out on him? Is it Beli-chicken or Beli-cheat? Either he’s scared of Mangini, or this is normal procedure. I think that it is more of the latter. Belichick is handling this SO casually; it is showing me this is a usual routine for he and the team to behave in this regard. I think that there are probably other teams who tape signals, too. Bet they are going to watch themselves now.

    This brings up three points.

    1. Goodel supposedly brought this taping issue up with all of the teams before the season. So, obviously, this is much bigger than just the Pats. What else has Goodel warned them about? Whatever it is, you can bet it’s a truism.

    2. Goodel has got to come down hard on the Pats. He is still establishing his regime and so far, on his watch, the face of the NFL (Vick) and the premiere example of the NFL’s dynastic ability (Pats) has tarnished the shine on the NFL logo.

    Lastly, how long is it before all of these things start to drive away the audience? It only took a one-year strike to almost-kill baseball. The strike in the NHL has wiped it to the Outdoor Life Network or VS or whatever they call it now. In all honesty, the fact that I have Time-Warner cable (no NFL network) and no line of site for a dish (no Direct TV football package) has already got this life long, die-hard Jets fan teetering. Be careful Goodel, I’ll bet half the casual fans are already heading for the parking lot, and I will be watching how you handle these situations closely. Because I’m on the fence.


  14. Time to imagine a world entertained by other than professional sports. “Professional” now means clownish, fake, and overpaid. The NFL, worldwide leader in fraud, has given us the definitive market top of the professional sports era.
    The king is dead, long live _________

  15. 6′-1″ 230#

    Addiction. The one word that sums it all up. Billicheck is addicted to control, addicted to winning, addicted to doing whatever he wants.

    Same as an addicted gambler, he knows something is wrong, but just cant help himself. After so many successes over the years and then to have the people he has been in control of for so long to finally decide it is time for themselves to stand on their own feet and move from the nest is too much for him to handle. That is the reason he treated Mangini the way he did last year. He is losing control… something he is accustomed to having and is addicted to.

    He is and has always been the one that does what he wants, no matter what the consequences are. Alot of it is gamesmanship (watering the field, attacking the receivers until the refs start calling it, etc), but a lot of it is the ideology of, “I’m the master and I’ll do whatever I want. I will not conform”

    Why else would he wear the clothes he does amidst a sea of criticism, blatantly videotape one of his ex-assistant’s sidelines, come out in front of the world and apologize for…???, and then say he really doesn’t want to talk about anything except the upcoming Chargers game?

    He is addicted to being himself, an arrogant jerk that thinks he is above the law.

    No wonder Randy Moss will fit in wonderful there

  16. The obvious initial reaction is why should the Patriots bother with filming signs against a team they’ve dominated. The obvious answer is that this is standard procedure for them. It follows that other teams must be doing it too. Whatever punishment is meted out will ultimately make the fans suffer the same way MLB and NHL fans suffered during union troubles. Any college football fans whose team is punished for recruiting violations goes through the same thing. Coaches keep their jobs, salaries, and prestige so why should they care about the fans? The NFL needs to make it hurt the coaches personally if they want to make any difference.

  17. 1. Suspend Bellicheater.
    2. Forfeit the game to the Jets.
    3. Yank their next 3 picks.

    Cheating completely destroys the credibility of the game and cannot be tolerated. In my opinion, much worse the the stupidity of the athletes off-field antics.

    Send a clear message.

  18. maybe he’s been cheating all this time, which is why some consider him a genius in the first place??

  19. I’ve been wondering how this cheating incident of Belichick’s stacks up against the likes of Bonds’s alleged use of HGH, Shawn Merriman’s use of steroids, and Floyd Landis steroid-driven miracles versus the less topically hot instances such as Rodney Harrison and Jason Grimsley’s use of performance enhancing drugs.

    In the first four instances, you have quite a bit of public outrage and even some condemnation by other players and coaches. But with Harrison and Grimsley, there was not much press and very little outrage.

    Sure, the first four are big names, while the last two are not, but I think there’s more to it than that. And I think it’s all an issue about one thing: hypocrisy. Bonds, Belichick, Landis, and Merriman’s cases reek of it, while Harrison and Grimsley’s do not.

    With Bonds, his use of HGH might not have let him put the bat on the ball easier (though HGH has been rumored to improve eyesight), but it allows bigger muscles – a very key element in being able to hit the long ball.

    Merriman is known as a fearsome and tireless defender who can use his amazing strength and speed to brush aside o-lineman all game long. Steroid use, of course, allows for amazing recovery and stamina, as well as the ability to workout those muscles far more often than a man normally could.

    Landis was the nice guy no one ever thought could do anything wrong, so when he had that amazing day to pull the Tour back into reach, we were sure the son of Mennonites had done it all with pure heart.

    And Belichick? Belichick has never had an amazing running back, a touchdown threat wide receiver, or a Manning-like stat-compiling quarterback. His claim to fame has always been that he’s been smarter than any other coach; a “genius” so many people like to say. With his coaching, Brady was able to rise to the top of the NFL QB list not through strength of arm, swift legs, or escapability in the pocket, but rather because he just seemed to always know where the defense would have a weak spot. And he’d get the ball there before the defense could get to him.

    How badly this taping hurt other teams, it’s very hard to say. But in a “game of inches” it undoubtedly proved influential in at least some the games the Pats won over the years, and in the ruined playoff chances and careers on those other teams.

    But most of all I think it’s this hypocrisy that galls us the most. Much like the Quiz Show case of Charles Van Doren, a man who willingly let the nation think he was a genius while all along he was being given the answers, Belichick is finding out how far a person can fall when their reputation is discovered to have been built, only if in part, on something less than noble.

  20. Credit “The Goodell” for having the stones that Tags didn’t have. We’re witnessing the second coming here of Kennesaw Mountain Landis, minus the white windblown coiff. The other spineless imposters of the sports commissioning world ought to take notice. Roger Goodell is taking no prisoners. He has the gavel and the gun. The sporting world of greed, arrogant, self-promoting pompous a-holes are going to be humbled by a decent man who has no regard for professional dishonor. I like this guy a lot. Hopefully, he will maintain his consistency and professional respect he has earned over the last 6 months. Football is nothing more than a business that doubles as an entertainment platform. Finally we have a CEO that understands how it should function.

  21. Seems to me that taking away the first round draft pick is also going to punish some kid coming out of college. Think about it — some kid that was going to be the last pick in the first round of the draft, is now going to be the first pick of the second round. So you’ve penalized that kid. I think what the Commissioner should have done is taken away the first round pick from the Pats, and given it to the Jets. Now, I know what you’re thinking, another crazy Jets fan. But I’m no Jets fan I can assure you. I just think this is the right thing to do because the Jets were the team that this infraction occurred against. Plus by giving the pick to the Jets, a team in the Pats own division, it hurts them even more. And lastly, that last pick of the first round, will still be in the first round.

  22. Location, Location, Location

    It is amazing how poor readers still like to write. If you were to educate yourself, you’d know that the NFL permits video taping (filming, polaroids, use of binoculars) by the teams to glean information about each other. Read all about it, it’s in the rule book. There are restrictions as to where you can be when you do the recording, and a Patriots employee was in a non-authorized location on Sunday. That’s the entire issue here: an employee’s location. Every team studies every other team every week. Did you really not know this?

  23. It’d be easy to say “everybody does it.” It’d be easy to say “glass houses.” It’d be easy to make excuses, but it would still be wrong.

    This week, it’s hard being a Pats’ fan. No matter how you slice it, no matter how you try and rationalize it, the Patriots broke the rule. The rule says, you’re not allowed to have video cameras in the coaches’ box or on the sidelines for the purpose of recording an opponent’s signals. Matt Estrella was apparently videotaping Jets’ defensive coaches signaling to their players on the field during the first half of the game on Sunday, a game the Patriots won in dominating fashion.

    And it would be really easy to say that the success of the Patriots over the past 7 years was the result of cheating in this manner. Much like the easy statements previously mentioned, this too would be wrong.

    I understand the reaction of non-Patriots’ fans. I really do. I especially understand the animosity of Jets fans toward Belichick in particular. After all, if my team’s new head coach quit after one day to go coach for a division rival, and took that divisional rival to three Super Bowls, and then when his protégé comes to coach my team, and beats the old man, and the guy doesn’t even have the sportsmanship to properly congratulate the opponent after the game, yeah, I’d hone a fine-edged grudge. Eagles fans, having their Super Bowl dreams dashed against a patched together Pats’ D – yeah, if the last time my team won a Super Bowl, it wasn’t even called the Super Bowl, but still the National Football Championship, I’d be pissed. Oakland, well, suck it up – it’s in the rule books.

    Much of the defense of the Patriots’ actions have centered around the long history of this type of behavior going on. A month before New England @ Jets, ESPN.com had an extensive article on methods that teams use to gain an edge. In 2002 Mike Shanahan admitted that he has a guy with binoculars on the opponents’ defensive signals, saying “With any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

    All 32 teams were informed before the season started regarding this rule, which says to me that this is a widespread practice. Bill Belichick decided to ignore the rule. He says that his interpretation differs, but anyone who looks objectively at the situation has to conclude that the rule was broken.

    But is it cheating? Did this give the Pats an unfair advantage? Then why are the second half performances of the Pats last year so unimpressive? Sept. 17 against the Jets, NYJ ring up 17 points in the second half. Pats had 7 in the third quarter, and none in the fourth. Final score: 24-17. On Nov. 26, Chicago had 10 points in the fourth quarter, final score: Pats 17-13. Dec. 3, the Detroit Freakin’ Lions had 11 points in the second half. Final score: Pats 28-21. Jacksonville scored 14 in the second half against the Pats on Christmas Eve, Pats win 24-21. How about giving up 21 points to Miami, and posting a goose egg on Dec. 10? What about Denver, who beat the Pats 17-7 on Sept. 24?

    If the Pats were cheating, they weren’t doing a very good job of it by the looks of those games.

    They did break the rules though, and need to be punished. However, some of the punishments that have been bandied about on ESPN message boards and sports talk radio range from intentionally comical (like make Belichick wear a suit on the sidelines) to ludicrously comical (such as dock the Pats’ first and second round picks and suspend Belichick for half a season.). I think a first round pick, a one game suspension and a fine would be appropriate.

    Anything more would give the rest of the league an unfair advantage.

  24. The punishment for cheating should not be on how good of a job you did at it, how much you needed to do it, or if it really helped you or not. The punishment for cheating should be to void whatever gains you hoped to make by taking the actions of cheating.

    When a defensive back holds down a receiver’s arms on a passing play, it’s cheating – they call pass interference and then they void the advantage the DB was trying to get.

    When a quarterback intentionally throws the ball away while still inside the pocket he is trying to avoid a sack or interception, they call intentional grounding and void what he was trying to gain by making him lose yards and a down.

    So, the question is how do you fairly void the advantage the Patriots were trying to get when it was decided they would willfully break a rule and film another team’s coaching staff send in signals. You can’t penalize on-the-field game play into the future (let other teams film the Patriots, etc.) as that would throw off the product the NFL puts on the field and make the games unfair. Taking a draft pick away and fining the coach and the team is a good start, but I don’t think it goes far enough. The Patriots were only caught videotaping one game, but say for argument sake they’d been doing this for three years. Would the results of three years worth of cheating be worth more to the Patriots than a first round draft pick and $750,000? Of course it would.

    I think the only answer is the forfeiture of any games that any NFL team was found to be taping. This would be one of the only ways that Goodell could show that the NFL cares about the integrity of it’s product. The problem is you can’t go back and rewrite the rules, if the rule doesn’t have this punishment in it… I don’t think you should do it. But, the rule should be rewritten so that the next time it happens, that team’s games are forfeited.


  25. Spy Shop…

    Hidden camera girls are caught on a home spy cam all the time….

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